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Rechargeable batteries play an important role in our lives and many daily chores would be unthinkable without the ability to recharge. The most common rechargeable batteries are lead acid, NiCd, NiMH and Li-ion. Here is a brief summary of their characteristics.
Table 1 compares the characteristics of the four commonly used rechargeable battery systems, showing average performance ratings at time of publication. Li-ion is divided into different types, named by their active materials, which are cobalt, manganese, phosphate and titanate. (See BU-205: Types of Lithium-ion.)
Missing from in the list is the popular lithium-ion-polymer that gets its name from the unique separator and electrolyte system. Most are a hybrid version that shares performance with other Li-ion. Also missing is the rechargeable lithium-metal, a battery that, once the safety issues are resolved, has the potential of becoming a battery choice with extraordinarily high specific energy and good specific power. The table only addresses portable batteries and excludes large systems that resemble a refinery.
Table 1: Characteristics of commonly used rechargeable batteries. The figures are based on average ratings of commercial batteries at time of publication. Specialty batteries with above-average ratings are excluded.
Last updated 2016-04-11
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